I can’t believe we’re coming up on Labor Day weekend already. This August absolutely flew by! It’s already starting to get dark a little earlier and the mornings are feeling a little chilly, but for now I’m hanging onto summer for dear life.
This month, Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake is hosting a backyard barbecue themed dinner party for Progressive Eats. I signed up to make a salad and decided on this grilled vegetable panzanella – a hearty salad that makes the most of the late-summer harvest. This salad is full of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and cubes of sourdough bread. The vegetables and bread are grilled, giving them a smokey, charred flavor that goes great with other backyard barbecue staples. It’s substantial enough to eat on it’s own, but it also pairs well with salami and cheese, grilled chicken, or even a burger.
The recipe is really forgiving, and you can easily make a lot of substitutions to adapt it to the ingredients you have on hand. This time, I dressed mine with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but you can also use a tart dressing made from lemon juice, oil, and oregano, a red wine vinaigrette, or even your favorite bottle of store-bought dressing.
- 1 eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 red onion
- 1 small loaf (about 6 ounces) sourdough bread
- 1 garlic clove
- 4 small tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Start by preparing your vegetables: Trim the top and bottom from the eggplant and zucchini; cut lengthwise into 1-inch planks. Trim the skin off the ends of the eggplant. Cut the pepper in half and remove the seeds and stem. Cut the onion into thick rounds. Brush both sides of the vegetables with oil and sprinkle with salt. Slice the bread into 1-inch slices and brush with oil.
- Heat the grill to about 400ºF. When the grill is hot, add the vegetables. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Grill the bread 2-3 minutes on each side, until toasted. Let cool.
- Chop the vegetables into 1-inch pieces and place in a serving bowl. Run the toasted bread with garlic, then tear it into 1-inch pieces. Add the bread to the serving bowl, along with the tomatoes.
- Whisk together the oil and vinegar. Pour over the salad and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
This month’s theme is Summer Barbecue hosted by Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake. You’ll love all the summertime recipes that will be perfect for your next cookout or Labor Day gathering.
August 2014 – Backyard Barbecue
That Skinny Chick Can Bake – Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Sunchowder’s Emporia – Grilled Tequila Lime Shrimp Skewers
Stetted – Pimiento Cheese Jalapeño Poppers
Barbara Bakes – Cheesy Garlic Bread
Healthy. Delicious.– Grilled Vegetable Panzanella
Pastry Chef Online – Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho
Never Enough Thyme – Curried Corn
The Heritage Cook – Amped up BBQ Beans
SpiceRoots – Grilled Rosemary Potatoes
Miss in the Kitchen – Summer Fruit Spritzers
Creative Culinary – Peach Melba Pavlova with Caramel Sauce
Life’s a Feast – Rum Roasted Plum Mousse